Protecting clean athletes and the integrity of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, to be held from 5 to 21 August, is a top priority for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and this was reinforced during a National Integrity in Sport workshop held jointly with INTERPOL in Rio de Janeiro from 30 to 31 May.
Addressing representatives from Brazilian police forces and the government, the IOC explained how it will operate a Joint Integrity Intelligence Unit (JIIU) in collaboration with experts from the Rio 2016 Organising Committee. The JIIU will be responsible for the prevention, monitoring and assessment of any unethical activity related to the Olympic Games, and will be supported by the Department of Federal Police (DPF) and the Secretariat of Security for Major Events (SESGE) as well as INTERPOL when needed, such as in the event of a criminal act.
“This two-day workshop, part of the IOC-INTERPOL Global Capacity Building and Training Initiative, brought together all the key players and was an invaluable opportunity to discuss possible scenarios”, said Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. “In the lead-up to the Games, we are working closely with international police forces, Brazilian police and the Rio 2016 organisers to set up the necessary processes and coordinate actions for Games-time. As a sports organisation, the IOC can deal with disciplinary matters related to the Olympic Games; however we will then rely on the Brazilian authorities and their jurisdiction for criminal and security matters.”
Luiz Fernando Correa, Rio2016 Olympic Games Organising Committee Security Director, stated: “Rio 2016 is fully committed to and engaged in the prevention and investigation of any form of crime against sport during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Thus, Rio 2016 established the Joint Integrity Intelligence Unit with the IOC in order to guarantee the integrity of sport in partnership with the Brazilian authorities.”
Rogério Augusto Viana Galloro, Executive-Director, Brazilian Federal Police, who officially opened the Workshop, noted: “The integrity of sport all over the world is increasingly being threatened, with organised criminal groups trying to develop new ways of targeting the professional sport sector. A coordinated international prevention strategy, as conducted by INTERPOL and the IOC, is vital to tackle crime in sport.”
On the occasion of this workshop, the IOC and INTERPOL jointly launched the “Handbook on protecting sport from competition manipulation”. This new publication offers a useful guide to understanding the dynamics of competition manipulation and learning how to put in place national measures to prevent match-fixing and other corruption. It is targeted at law enforcement officers, as well as national and international sports governing bodies.
Click here to read the Handbook.
Following the workshop, two days of training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors in investigating match-fixing, sports betting and organised crime is taking place from 2 to 3 June in Rio de Janeiro. A strong focus will again be placed on the protection of the upcoming Olympic Games. Such training will also leave an important legacy for Brazil in terms of safeguarding the integrity of sport in the national context and enhancing cooperation between national sports organisations and law enforcement.
The JIIU is building on the experience gathered during London 2012, when the IOC operated a Joint Assessment Unit with the UK Gambling Commission - a system that proved successful. The IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS), a mechanism for the exchange of information and intelligence related to sports betting, will be a tool for the JIIU to prevent Olympic events from competition manipulation. All the Olympic Summer International Federations as well as various betting operators have signed up to IBIS.
Furthermore, the JIIU will be able to rely on the INTERPOL Major Event Support Team (IMEST), which is deployed to assist member countries in the preparation, coordination and implementation of security arrangements for major events.
The IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with INTERPOL in January 2014. Since then, the two organisations have widened the scope of joint activities, including close collaboration during the Olympic Games and capacity-building, such the workshop held in Rio de Janeiro.
Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, has reiterated the IOC’s commitment and drive to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sport. A number of measures have thus been initiated and implemented, including robust educational awareness programmes to protect Olympic events from any kind of manipulation.
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